For four and one half years I have witnessed what to me is the steady decline of America's principles, integrity, and standing in the world community. Some of this is due to the American people themselves, especially the rampant and growing consumerism that seems to devour us. But the reason I am writing to you is to focus on your egregious role in this decline.
Your lies that promoted the war on Iraq are unconscionable. Your collusion with Tony Blair to pursue this unjust action is, in my mind, criminal. Your post-fact justification of the war by saying its purpose is to bring democracy to the Middle East is not only a lie in itself (it ignores the false reasons you gave in early 2003), it is also an affront to the dignity and intelligence of the American people.
The treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, and other prisons is disgusting, un-American, and in violation of American and international standards. To hold these people without charge for years, without access to lawyers or family, and then to torture and even kill them is beyond my comprehension of what America is all about - especially when it is known that many of these people are innocent and were unluckily caught up in a dragnet. Yet you see this as a problem with just a few GIs! Mr. President, if the commanders of those GIs did not know what was going on, they were doing a lousy job. And if their own commanders did not know, they too were doing a lousy job. This goes all the way up the chain of command. It is the duty of officers all the way up to the Commander in Chief to make sure their charges are carrying out legal and just orders that fit within all national and international standards of justice. Yet the only justice served after over a year has been to punish a few low-level scapegoats! I am convinced that you have on your desk a sign that reads "The buck never gets here." This washing your hands of responsibility is disgusting.
Your attitude toward the natural environment that we all live in and can't afford to destroy is beyond my comprehension. There can be no "compromise" between environment and business. If business practises destroy resources, then that destruction must be stopped. Even business must recognize that a healthy environment provides the necessary infrastructure for it to pursue profit. The wealth of natural resources, the air, water, and soil, the forest and mountains, the rivers and lakes, do not belong to business. They belong to the American people to lease to business as it pleases them. And any destruction of those resources must be met with punishment (as a deterrent) and obligation to restore those resources. Yet all your policies regarding the environment seem to be aimed first at protecting business interests. If environmental concerns impede the rapid pursuit of profit, under your programs the environment suffers. And when the environment suffers, all Americans and business ultimately suffer. Your short-sightedness on this matter is disgraceful.
These three issues - the war, the treatment of prisoners, and the environment- are but two in a host of issues that have conspired to bring America to its lowest level of integrity in a century. Another major problem is your notion that you can increase spending while decreasing revenue, at no harm to the nation. Anybody with a home budget and calculator can tell you this is completely bogus. Tie that in with the decreased revenue benefitting already rich folk and corporations, and you have a perversity that serves only to widen even further the gap between rich and poor, labor and management, the power of money and the misery of poverty. But it seems to me that that is exactly what you want. Only the rich in America get to enjoy the riches of America. Mr. President, it's one thing to advocate that every person stand on his own two feet without handouts from the government. It's yet another thing to take handouts from the poor and give them to the rich!
In the midst of all this I hear you proclaim your devotion to faith and the Christian principles you claim guide you. Mr. President, this is utter hypocrisy! You have committed numerous "sins" by the light of those Christian principles. You capitalized on the misery, suffering, and despair of the 9/11 catastrophe to selfishly promote the agenda you've had for America for years. You care so much for the rich and powerful that you conspire with business interests to make them even more rich and powerful. But the poor - well, they can just fend for themselves. You protect those who instigated the torture practises by claiming the documentation for those practises is classified. You claim as your philosophy a "culture of life", ignoring the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Sudanese while pursuing a deceitful war in Iraq that has resulted in over 1,800 Americans dead, countless others wounded, and countless Iraqis dead and wounded. And then you promote reductions in Veterans Administration budgets so returning troops suffer even more. The war was a bald lie. Your Social Security program is a bald lie. Your claims about the economy are bald lies. Mr. President, you are no Christian, so please stop claiming you are. Please stop pandering to those who support you only on your claim to the moral high ground. It's all lies. How many supporters would remain if you took away that false moral high ground?
With all respect to the office you hold, I have to say you are the worst president in America's history. The America that was esteemed by the world as kind, generous, and a source of prosperity for all, has become an aggressor that cares only for its own well being even at the expense of the well being of other nations. I feel shame at what we have become. I am embarrassed every time you represent America when speaking to foreign nations.
The only way you can continue to get away with this extremely un- American program is by fostering the most secretive government since Richard Nixon (and I believe you actually beat him at this). The press is shut out from information they need to properly inform the public of the workings of its government. The Congress is shut out from information it needs to properly assess the programs you are pushing.
Unfortunately, the Congress - the representatives of the people - have been complicit in the downfall of America. They have done this by acceding to your unconstitutional appropriation of the congressional war-making powers, and by not insisting on hard facts and honest analysis for the programs you propose.
The press, too, by and large has failed utterly to protect America from the lies and deceptions that you have employed to bring our nation to this state. It has done this by accepting without proper analysis your rationalizations for war, the economy, taxes, Social Security, Medicare, and a host of other issues which you have gotten just plain wrong but bullheadedly insist on pursuing to the nation's detriment.
I think a major reason this has happened to America is that you have no realistic contact with the American public. You are out of touch with ordinary citizens (those who have little money power). All your meetings and press conferences are packed with your hand-picked supporters, and dissent results in expulsion. You meticulously cultivate your relations with big business while shrugging off any real concern for the welfare of ordinary citizens. You only concern yourself with individual people when you perceive them to have value for your political agenda. Mr. President, that is exactly backwards. Your constitutional duty is to the American people, not to wealth and power, not to the paper entities called corporations.
Mr. President, in none of these arguments do I mean to denigrate the office of the President of the United States. I aimed my arguments at you, the person who currently occupies that office and is duty bound to uphold the Constitution and serve the American people's interests. Once again, Mr. President, you have gotten almost all of it wrong, and the American people are suffering and will continue to suffer enormously because of it.
I would love to have a chat with you sometime, to help resolve the bad feelings I am having regarding the direction my country is headed. Some time when you have vacation time, instead of going to Crawford, come visit Madison, Wisconsin. I will treat you to a turtle sundae at Michael's (the best ice cream in the world!). And maybe you can straighten me out. I would love to be shown I am wrong, because my current condition is near hopelessness for the future of America.
- Lone Coyote Calls
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Way out in the wilderness
a Lone Coyote Calls.
Your eyes fix on the shotgun
that's a-hangin' on the wall.
- B Dylan